As has become the tradition, this weekend’s Magic Party at PAX Prime in Seattle provided us with the first large batch of Khans of Tarkir spoilers. Last year, when Theros was spoiled, we were treated to several impressive spoils including the bestow mechanic, the return of Thoughtseize, and a new Elspeth. For Return to Ravnica we were gifted with a look at the reprinted shock-lands, a new Jace, and the unassuming Pack Rat. Would Khans of Tarkir meet the community’s lofty expectations?

Top Five Khans of Tarkir Spoilers from PAX Prime

A total of 11 new cards and 5 reprints were unveiled at the Magic party in Seattle this past Saturday night. By now you’ve surely seen them all on social media, or Reddit, or your buddy’s incessant text messages about how he “told you so” and made better financial guesses than you. Instead of sharing them all with you here, I’m going to rank the top five spoilers from the evening in time-honored tradition of top-list pioneers like Matt Jones, John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity, and the talk-show host soon to be replaced by Stephen Colbert. Here we go…

5 – Dragon-Style Twins

Double Dragon

Coming in at number five on our list is this ode to Double Dragon. These Jeskai monks are a clear homage to one of the greatest video games of the 8-bit era. They even made a movie based on the game which many of you likely forgot about until you read this sentence. Go check IMDB. I’ll wait.

It’s unlikely that a 3/3 for 5 mana is going to see a lot of constructed play, no matter how much 80’s nostalgia you pack into it. However, that nostalgia is enough to get this card the bottom spot on our list. Prowess will likely make this a limited bomb, allowing it to make for very complex combat situations. This card is cute, but let’s hope that the 80’s nostalgia trend doesn’t become a recurring theme in card design. I don’t think a top-down set based on that theme would play very well.

4 – Sultai Charm

Template Charm

I guess the template change made earlier this week in Gatherer had an actual purpose other than formatting. I never thought I’d see bullet points in the text box of a Magic card, but here we are. The sky is the limit, or so they say. I suppose it’s fair to say that in the past the wording on cards with a lot of complex modes was very difficult to grasp. Hopefully this paves the way for a new cycle or reprinting of the commands from Lorwyn. Even the entwine mechanic was clarified by this change.

Moving away from the template queries, Sultai Charm makes our list at the number four spot because it confirms that another one of the shard cycles from Shards of Alara is going to become a wedge cycle in Khans of Tarkir. Being able to pick from three modes makes these cards very versatile which often leads to constructed playability. This is a big spoiler and one that shows that Wizards knows how to keep a good thing going when it comes to multicolor Magic.

3 – Narset, Enlightened Master

EDH Commander

The Khan of the Jeskai clan just replaced every other red, white, and blue legendary creature in all of your Commander decks of those colors. I’m not sure whose idea it was to slap hexproof on her but boy is that going to tick it up on the constructed-playable scale. Even if you only get to attack once because your opponent has a 2/4 blocker and you don’t have a combat trick, you still get one of the most insane abilities ever printed. Nightveil Specter made you pay retail for the spells you revealed. Narset has no such drawback. Okay, sure, you can’t cast any creature spells, but there are plenty of crazy-expensive combo pieces you can flip and cast for free. Omniscience? Hive Mind? The list goes on. Commander just changed and that earns Narset the #3 spot on our list.

2 – Duneblast


The Abzan clan, my personal favorite, makes its way onto the list in the #2 spot with this gem. Even though it’s seven mana, the words “Destroy the rest” make it worth every drop of magical energy. Or, you could just flip this card to the Jeskai khan (see above) instead of paying retail. As if the power level wasn’t enough, check out that sweet flavor text. Loneliness is a dangerous thing and the Abzan realize that when all other life is destroyed, the sole survivor isn’t necessarily the winner of that contest.

With so much awesome in the penultimate spot on our list, what could possibly be on top?

1.5 – Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker


Wait, #1.5? Yes, I lied to you. This is actually a top-six list because six is better than five. Coming in somewhere between the best and second-best spoilers from the evening is the newest incarnation of everyone’s favorite dragon-obsessed planeswalker: Sarkhan Vol. In his earliest iteration, the Gruul-aligned young mage boosted your warriors and then summoned a horde of Dragons. After being corrupted by the Elder Dragon Nicol Bolas, Sarkhan the Mad, now Rakdos-aligned, gained the ability to kill creatures and replace them with Dragons. Perhaps more of a regression than an evolution.

Now we have an older, wiser, and purely red-aligned Sarkhan. This time he’s not messing around. He transforms into a dragon. He breathes fire on your opponent’s creatures. And he… draws you extra cards? Okay, that one was unexpected. I thought planeswalkers were supposed to be more focused. Where did card drawing come from in Sarkhan’s power set? Anyways, inconsistencies aside, being a powerful planeswalker is more than enough to ensure a high spot on this list.

1 – The Onslaught Fetchlands

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We all knew this was coming. Aaron Forsythe hinted awhile ago that fetchlands were returning. Now that they’re confirmed for Khans of Tarkir we can all resume speculating on whether or not the Zendikar fetches are going to come back in Modern Masters 2 and whether or not said set is going to be released next summer, and whether or not the secret TBD simultaneous Grand Prix events will all be MM2 sealed. Here are some hints: yes, yes, and yes.

Bonus Spoilers



This little gem was revealed at the world-building panel held by Wizards’ creative team on Sunday. It turns out that Sarkhan won’t be alone in his journey to reforge the fate of Tarkir. Oh yeah, they also announced that the second set in the block, code-named “Dewey”, is called Fate Reforged. So I guess this more or less confirms that Sarkhan will be traveling back in time to restore the glory of the dragons to his world. Right? How is that not an obvious conclusion to jump to?

Pro Tour Update

Top 25 Rankings

As has become the trend, the top spots on the rankings are fairly secure outside of a Pro Tour event. The Grand Prix performances usually only translate into movement of several spots. This week was no different. Yuuki Ichikawa, finishing in 7th place in Grand Prix Kobe, jumped an impressive seven places in the rankings. Meanwhile Jacob Wilson and Lee Shi Tian both moved up two spots on strong performances.

The Quick Hits

  • Mark Rosewater unveiled the new block structure for the future of Magic. It’s pretty big and deserves it’s own coverage. I’ll be taking a look at this next week, along with some of the community feedback. As such, there’s not a lot else here this week since most people were talking about MaRo’s announcement [Making Magic]
  • Mike Keknee takes a look at the Battle Box format and shares his own design thereof. In case you missed it in the past, this is a pretty rad looking cube variant. If you’re into alternate forms of Magic, don’t miss this one [LegitMTG]

Wallpaper of the Week

Dragons are awesome. Intet is awesome. Therefore this wallpaper is awesome. A is for awesome.

Grade: A

The Week Ahead

The new Duel Decks set releases this Friday, pitting speed against cunning. Meanwhile, we’ll have one stop on the Grand Prix circuit in Salt Lake City, Utah. This will be the last Magic 2015 limited Grand Prix, so if you’re really into that format, don’t miss the coverage at and Also, due to WMC Qualifiers, and the release of Khans of Tarkir, this is the last Grand Prix until the first weekend in October. So if you enjoy GP coverage in general, don’t miss it.

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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